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The Man (1972)

G | | Drama | 19 July 1972 (USA)
An African-American senator becomes the designated survivor of a tragic accident that kills the President of the United States. Now the first black President, he attempts to end the bigotry and divide standing in his way.

Director:

Joseph Sargent

Writers:

Irving Wallace (novel), Rod Serling (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
James Earl Jones ... Douglass Dilman
Martin Balsam ... Jim Talley
Burgess Meredith ... Senator Watson
Lew Ayres ... Noah Calvin
William Windom ... Arthur Eaton
Barbara Rush ... Kay Eaton
Georg Stanford Brown ... Robert Wheeler
Janet MacLachlan ... Wanda
Martin E. Brooks ... Wheeler's Lawyer (as Martin Brooks)
Simon Scott Simon Scott ... Hugh Gaynor
Patric Knowles ... South African Consul
Robert DoQui ... Webson
Anne Seymour ... Ma Blore
Edward Faulkner ... Secret Service Man
Gilbert Green Gilbert Green ... Congressman Hand
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Storyline

When the President and Speaker of the House are killed in a building collapse, and the Vice-President declines the office due to age and ill-health, Senate President pro tempore Douglas Dilman (James Earl Jones) suddenly becomes the first black man to occupy the Oval Office. The events from that day to the next election when he must decide if he will actually run challenge his skills as a politician and leader. Written by Kevin Lantry

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

It took an accident to make this man President of the United States. What they do to him now won't be an accident. See more »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

G
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

19 July 1972 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

La loi de succession See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Although they played father and daughter in THE MAN, James Earl Jones was only two years older than Janet MacLachlan in real life. See more »

Quotes

Wanda: How are you, Dad?
Douglass Dilman: Numb! Numbness being a, er, defence mechanism.
Wanda: Against what?
Douglass Dilman: Against... against breaking into small pieces. They flew you here? From Ohio?
Wanda: On an Air Force jet, no less. Two Secret Servicemen came right into my dorm and got me.
Douglass Dilman: What's known as the long arm of Government!
Douglass Dilman: It's nice to have you in the nation's capital for something other than a protest march.
Wanda: Well, I guess I'll have to cool that sort of thing for a while.
Douglass Dilman: I think maybe so. You are now a member of the nation's ...
[...]
See more »

Connections

Featured in The Dick Cavett Show: Episode dated 19 July 1972 (1972) See more »

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User Reviews

 
James Earl Jones made a fine impression as the President of the United States in The Man
19 February 2018 | by tavmSee all my reviews

Since today is Presidents Day, I've devoted the past several hours to reviewing past presidential movie bios: Wilson, Give 'em Hell, Harry!, and The Final Days about Woodrow Wilson, Harry Truman, and Richard Nixon, respectively. Now I'm reviewing one about Douglas Dillman. Who? Well, he's actually a fictional one from a novel by Irving Wallace. Rod Serling eventually adapted it into a TV movie starring James Earl Jones playing Dillman who's depicted here as the first African-American president some 36 years before Barack Obama. He becomes president-previously Senate President Pro Tempore-after the previous president's, not to mention Speaker of the House's, deaths and after the vice president refuses his inauguration for health reasons. He is challenged by Burgess Meredith's racist senator, and by a case involving the assassination of a South African defense minister allegedly by an African-American activist (Georg Stanford Brown). He also has a daughter (Janet MacLachlan) who's very much a "Black Power" activist. In fact, one of her best scenes is her dialogue with a cabinet member's wife (Barbara Rush) on societal graces during an otherwise innocuous cabinet dinner meeting. There's much to admire here though since this was a made-for-TV movie, it only goes so far in discussing certain issues. Still, this was quite a compelling movie about the responsibilities of the presidency. So that's a recommendation of The Man. P.S. I'm guessing this was Jack Benny's last film appearance which was quite amusing especially when he got one more crack about his flop movie The Horn Blows at Midnight!


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